Turkey's Yildiz Holding acquires Britain's United Biscuits for reported £2 bn

Turkish food group Yildiz Holding has acquired British biscuits maker United Biscuits from private equity firms Blackstone Group and PAI Partners to become the world's third-.largest biscuit manufacturer.

Although Yildiz did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, analysts have estimated the deal size to be around £2 billion.

Blackstone and PAI had acquired United Biscuits in 2005 for £1.6 billion and had put the business up for sale earlier this year.

Commenting on the deal, Lionel Assant, European head at Blackstone, said, "United Biscuits is a great business and has been an excellent investment for us. Yildiz is the best home for the company and will allow UB to fulfill its international growth ambitions.''

With sales of over £1.1 billion, Middlesex-based United Biscuits is the leading manufacturer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland.

Its well-known brands are McVitie's, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie's Jaffa Cakes, Jacob's, Jacob's Cream Crackers, Twiglets, and Mini Cheddars.

UB owns and operates 16 manufacturing facilities of which seven are in the UK.

Yildiz, which also owns Belgium's Godiva Chocolate, exports 160 brands and 2,700 products to 110 countries. The Istanbul-based company has 53 plants around the world, including 44 in Turkey and 9 abroad.

The group employs 41,000 people and has annual turnover of $1.3 billion.